News, Views and People from the Russell Ulyatt Group

The Chancellor’s first Spring Statement
March 2018

Mr Hammond made clear some while ago that he wanted his Spring Statement to be a short financial briefing rather than a mini-Budget, complete with rabbit-out-of-hat announcements.

Although his speech ran to 25 minutes, rather than the 15-20 that had been promised, the Chancellor stuck to a no-frills script.

Click here to view our Spring Statement Summary

There were no new tax measures and no spending changes.  The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) trimmed its projections for government borrowing, but Mr Hammond simply banked the savings for his Autumn Budget.  Spending will be subject to a detailed review in 2019.

While the Chancellor appeared to say little, his statement was followed by the publication of a range of documents covering areas including:

  • English business rates – The next revaluation of business property in England will be brought forward one year to 2021, with three-yearly revaluations thereafter.
  • Entrepreneur’s relief – A consultation paper was published on how to give entrepreneurs’ relief in circumstances where it would otherwise be lost because of a new share issue.
  • VAT threshold – The government issued a call for evidence on restructuring the VAT registration threshold to offer more incentives for small businesses to grow.  There is some evidence that businesses deliberately limit growth to avoid crossing the existing £85,000 threshold (which has been frozen for the next two years).
  • Tax and the digital economy – There were several papers examining taxation issues surrounding the digital economy, including VAT and income tax leakage through internet trading platforms.
  • Self-funded work-related training – A consultation paper was published examining how to extend the existing tax relief framework to self-funded work-related training by employees and the self-employed.

Many of these documents will eventually result in legislation, but that doesn’t mean no tax changes in the interim.  The impact of last November’s Budget (and some earlier measures) will soon be felt with the start of the new tax year.

Please get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss any aspects of the Spring Statement and how they might affect you.

Tax Tables 2018/19
March 2018

Click here to view our tax tables for the 2018/19 tax year, updated with announcements made in the Spring Statement on 13th March.  We hope you will find them useful and interesting.

Please get in touch if you would like a discussion with us about your tax or general financial situation.

RU freezing?
March 2018

Despite the snowy conditions and temparatures of minus 5, it’s business as usual today at The RU Group.

Our dedicated team battled the elements to make it into the office today and even braved the icy weather for a team photo – and a snowball fight!

A big thank you to everyone.

 

Nick Onslow scoops prestigious industry award
February 2018

We are very pleased to announce that our very own Nick Onslow won the High Achiever Award at the Nottingham Chartered Insurance Institute’s gala dinner on 19th January 2018.

Nick Onslow (centre) receiving the High Achiever Award

The outstanding ‘Culture of Learning’ spearheaded by Nick, coupled with an array of his other professional achievements was recognised by the Nottingham Insurance Institute.

The High Achiever Award is a highly prestigious prize awarded to the local general insurance or financial services professional who has demonstrated the highest levels of attitude, performance and achievement in their working life.

Nick’s vision led Russell Ulyatt to achieve Chartered status in 2016 and its renewal in 2017.  This is tribute to Nick’s capacity to embed a ‘Culture of Learning’ into our company, further demonstrating our continued commitment to raising the expertise, knowledge and professionalism of our staff.

Following rigorous scrutiny by an esteemed panel of industry experts, Nick’s considerable and wide-ranging achievements have received much deserved recognition.  Here at Russell Ulyatt, Nick is known for his ambition, determination, commitment and enthusiasm.  This led to his nomination for the award by Ian Browne, Head of Advice, along with a recent promotion to our Senior Leadership Team.

Nick’s primary role is a Chartered Financial Planner providing exceptional service to the 120 clients he looks after.  In addition to this, his skills as a financial planner and human resources expert have led to him being a sought-after contributor on financial matters to national newspapers.  He also recently appeared on Notts TV offering advice on saving for Christmas and dealing with financial pressures when the festivities are over.

But it’s Nick’s innovative, transformative strategies within our company that, according to Ian Browne, really makes Nick’s credentials stand out.  Ian commented,

“Nick has been the sole architect of our ‘Culture of Learning,’ transforming the level of knowledge within the business with an emphasis on growth through professional development.  Recognising that the more knowledge our staff have, the better the outcomes for clients, Nick’s passion for individuals enhancing their own professional qualifications, mentoring schemes, and the provision of regular training events by Russell Ulyatt has created a real buzz around the office and ongoing learning is now the company norm.”

Not surprisingly, Nick is seen as the “go to” person in the company for young advisers and paraplanners and he also takes a role in training apprentices.  He gives generously of his time to read their advice reports and offer guidance, helping them to deliver great client outcomes.  His approach to recruit the best staff and invest in their careers plays an increasingly important role in staff retention and morale.  Nick said,

“I am very honoured and delighted to receive the High Achiever of the Year Award.  I appreciate the very kind comments made by Ian Browne in his nomination but feel that the award is testament to the aspirational ethos at Russell Ulyatt and great teamwork, which made my achievements possible.  So really, I’m accepting the award on behalf of the company.  We can all reflect on and celebrate this success and use it to motivate us as we move forward with our plans to meet the Chartered Insurance Institutes Higher Standards in 2020.”

I feel gratified that my colleagues show such a genuine commitment to their continued professional growth.  Their dedication to self-improvement helps them develop confidence and expertise.  Their success is great for morale and, of course, our clients benefit from this ethos.  Our investment in people is certainly paying dividends.  We recently had 30 exam passes from 22 members of the team.  This illustrates just how hard they are working.

Congratulations Nick.  A fantastic achievement.

The Pensions Regulator begin spot checks on East Midlands employers
February 2018

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has begun carrying out spot checks in cities across the East Midlands to ensure employers are complying with their pension duties.

Inspection teams will visit dozens of businesses in Nottingham, Derby and Leicester this month to check that qualifying staff are being given the workplace pensions they are entitled to.

The move is part of a nationwide enforcement campaign which began in London last spring to ensure employers are meeting their automatic enrolment duties correctly.

This is the first time these checks have been done in the East Midlands.  Short-notice inspections have already been carried out in Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, South Wales, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The checks will help TPR understand whether employers are facing any unnecessary challenges that they can help them with, such as helping them improve their systems.

Visits will also highlight employers who have not taken the required steps to become or remain compliant, paving the way for enforcement action.

Darren Ryder, TPR’s Director of Automatic Enrolment, said:

“The vast majority of employers are compliant with the law, but these visits help us identify why some may be struggling so we can take action where we need to.

Automatic enrolment is not an option, it’s the law.  Where we find employers are not complying, we will use our powers to ensure they comply so that staff receive the pensions they are entitled to.”

Nearly one million employers across the UK have met their automatic enrolment duties, with more than nine million workers given workplace pensions as a result.

Data to the end of December 2017 reveals 1,750 employers in Derby, 3,220 employers in Nottingham and 2,820 employers in Leicester have met their automatic enrolment duties.  As a result 125,000 staff in those areas have been put into a workplace pension.

If you need any advice on meeting your automatic enrolment responsibilities, please give us a call on 0115 907 5100

RU getting festive for charity
December 2017

In the run up to Christmas, the team at The RU Group have been “doing their bit” for 3 local charities.

On 8th December, we supported the GEM 106 Mission Christmas to help raise funds for disadvantaged children in the East Midlands.

Staff wore their Christmas jumpers or a Christmassy accessory in exchange for making a donation to the charity.  A few festive photos are below:

A total of £79 was raised which will go towards buying Christmas presents for children across the area who may not otherwise receive one.

Gifts will go to organisations including “Supporting Leicestershire Families” who work with vulnerable and troubled families across the county.  The children often feel isolated when they see everyone else getting a present.  Giving them a little something helps them feel loved.

In addition, instead of sending each other Christmas cards this year, staff at The RU Group brought in various items including food, clothing and toiletries to make up 3 hampers to send to two local charities.

The Canaan Trust are a charity based in Long Eaton who offer 24 hour support to homeless males who are often vulnerable, socially excluded and forgotten members of our society.

Emmanuel House based in the centre of Nottingham are a local charity supporting homeless, vulnerable or isolated adults in and around Nottingham.

A big thank you to the team for helping to spread a little Christmas joy.